How To Prevent Copper Jewelry From Tarnishing


Copper jewelry has become increasingly popular due to its beautiful, bold color and affordability. Unfortunately, it can tarnish from exposure to air and moisture over time. Taking preventative measures is essential for preserving the condition of copper jewelry for years to come. This guide will provide helpful tips on how to prevent copper jewelry from tarnishing.

What Causes Copper Jewelry To Tarnish?

Copper jewelry tarnishes due to a reaction between the copper and sulfur-containing molecules in the air. This is a process known as oxidation, which happens when electrons are transferred from one atom (in this case copper) to another atom. This transfer of electrons causes copper atoms to bond to oxygen atoms in the air, forming a new compound known as copper oxide. The formation of this compound forms a black or green layer of tarnish on top of the metal surface. It also makes it more susceptible to corrosion by reacting with acids and alkalis present in common household cleaners.

Tips To Prevent Copper Jewelry From Tarnishing

1. Store your copper jewelry in an airtight container to prevent exposure to oxidation-causing elements such as oxygen, moisture, and other pollutants.

2. If possible, avoid direct contact with sweat, perfumes or other chemicals while wearing copper jewelry; this will help reduce the chances of tarnishing.

3. In an effort to reduce surface discoloration or blotches due to wear and tear, remove your copper jewelry when engaging in activities that involve contact with water like swimming or showering as chlorine can cause an accelerated rate of tarnishing.

4. After wearing your copper jewelry, be sure to gently wipe the pieces down with a soft cloth before storing them back in their individual airtight cases; this will further reduce oxidation potential.

5. To revive slightly tarnished copper pieces, use a mixture of warm water and baking soda and lightly scrub the affected areas with a soft brush before drying with a soft cloth; repeat this process if needed.

6. For polished pieces that are significantly tarnished, use commercial jewelry cleaners specifically manufactured for cleaning jewelery-safe metals such as stainless steel and gold-filled but not plated metals like silver; these cleansers typically come in liquid form and must be thoroughly rinsed off after use.

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Cleaning and Polishing Copper Jewelry

1. Lemon juice: Diluting with water and dipping the copper jewelry in it is an effective way of cleaning it from mild tarnish.

2. White vinegar: Using a white vinegar solution to soak copper jewelry also works effectively for removing moderate tarnish.

3. Baking soda and aluminum foil: Placing a mixture of baking soda and aluminum foil in Water and submerging the copper jewelry can helps take off stubborn tarnish on the metal.

4. Toothpaste: Applying toothpaste to copper jewelry using a soft cloth and rinsing it off after can help to brighten a dull finish on copper jewelry caused by oxidation of the metal surface in contact with air.

5. Copper cleaners: Commercial grade cleaners specifically designed for cleaning copper are available which work quickly to clean heavy tarnishing on copper ornaments while also preventing them from further discolouration, which makes them relatively more effective than other methods mentioned above.

Tips on Storing Copper Jewelry

One of the best containers to store copper jewelry is an airtight container, such as a resealable bag. This will prevent the jewelry from becoming exposed to elements which cause tarnishing, such as humidity and chemicals in the air. Additionally, it’s important to keep the jewelry organized and separated so that they don’t rub against each other and cause premature wear or overheating. You can put dividers or cotton cushioning between pieces of jewelry in order to protect them. Cleaning off any oil residue or residues of cosmetics before storage will also help as these substances can speed up oxidation and lead to increased tarnish. Regular cleaning with polish made for copper will help maintain its luster for years!

Troubleshooting Common Copper Jewelry Issues

Preventing Copper Jewelry from Tarnishing: Copper jewelry has a tendency to tarnish due to its natural properties, so proper care and storage is important. To reduce the speed of tarnishing, it is best to store your copper jewelry in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also wipe your copper jewelry down with a soft cloth after wearing it and periodically coat it with wax or non-toxic lacquer which will help protect it from air and moisture. Additionally, you should ensure that the pieces are regularly cleaned using either soap and water or a jewelry cleaner specifically designed for cleaning copper. Don’t forget to rinse them off with fresh water afterwards too!

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Troubleshooting Common Copper Jewelry Issues: If you notice that your copper earrings or necklace have already started to look darkened or have green discolored areas, buff the metal surface lightly with a soft polishing cloth and then polish it with metal cleaner solution for an extra shine. You can also use baking soda and white vinegar to remove stubborn dirt and grime using a small brush. Furthermore, try not to expose your copper jewelry directly to harsh chemicals such as chlorine that can cause staining very quickly – always opt for wearing an alternative piece when swimming in chlorinated pools! With proper care and storage, you can be sure that your copper jewelry will last much longer without needing frequent polishing.


The most important step in preventing copper jewelry from tarnishing is through proper maintenance. This involves both avoiding contact with acidic and corrosive chemicals and being sure to clean the jewelry regularly. Additionally, you can coat the jewelry in a protective sealant that prevents oxidation, or store it correctly placed in a cool and dark environment. Taking these preventative measures will ensure that your copper jewelry retains its shine for longer and stays looking its best.